Patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) is the new system for assessing the quality of the hospital environment, which replaces Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) inspections from April 2013.

PLACE assessments apply to all hospitals delivering NHS-funded care, including day treatment centres and hospices.

PLACE assessments put patient views at the centre of the assessment process, and use information gleaned directly from patient assessors to report how well a hospital is performing in the areas assessed – privacy and dignity, cleanliness, food and general building maintenance. It focuses entirely on the care environment and does not cover clinical care provision or staff behaviours.

Most importantly, patients and their representatives will make up at least 50 per cent of the assessment team, which will give them the opportunity to drive developments in the health services they receive locally.

These teams assess how well the hospital environment supports patient’s needs and provide a snapshot of how the environment is seen by those using it. The aim is to give an objective view from the patient’s perspective.

As part of the walkabouts, hospital areas are graded so any improvements can be made and measured. The results of the PLACE inspection are recorded and published nationally. The assessments will be undertaken annually.

If you are interested in becoming a PLACE volunteer, please contact the Patient Experience team on 01226 436302. You will usually need to be able to commit to attending a daytime training session as well as committing two days to perform the assessment itself.

The latest information about PLACE can be found here: